Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

2007 Media Releases

Posted: 14 December 2007
“The recent approval to mine coal under the fragile gravity fed Upper Canal[1] places this critical water supply infrastructure at risk of damage and being shut down,” said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 12 December 2007
From what I heard this morning (ABC South East, 8.45 am) National Parks and Wildlife are about ready to cave in to the BUGs (Bush Users Group) vision of a managed herd of feral horses for Kosciuszko National Park.  For national parks to concede to such an extreme demand during a public exhibition process would be a poor practice,” said Mr Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 6 December 2007
“Recent efforts to maintain horses in Kosciuszko National Park by the Bush Users Group, (BUGs for short), are completely over the top.  BUGs have produced a form letter that claims National Parks' use environmental degradation as a ‘lame excuse' to justify its new draft horse management plan”, said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 30 November 2007
“Last night the NSW Government passed legislation[1] that removed protection from a ten kilometre reach of the Nepean River at a time when BHP-Billiton has started coal mining in the same area ,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 5 November 2007
“Dr Nikki Williams, the NSW Minerals Council Chief Executive says “there's been no loss of water quality[i]” but the Sydney Catchment Authority[ii] disagrees.
Posted: 26 October 2007
“Minister for Lands, Tony Kelly, has become a real estate agent for the disposal of important high conservation lands protected from development and sale since the days of the Greiner Government. Unless the Premier intervenes at least 162 parcels of wilderness across the State will be sold for a pittance. The planned conversion of leasehold land to freehold title would compromise over 100,000 hectares of wilderness,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 27 September 2007
“Tuesday's Court approval of a helipad for joy flights at Capertee west of the Blue Mountains has placed strong restrictions on this noisy operation. Despite these restrictions, wilderness and national parks will be subjected to the greatest impacts,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The failure to protect wilderness areas and national parks from aircraft noise requires a legislative remedy to preserve the natural quiet in these precious areas,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 26 September 2007
“The Iemma Government needs to be held directly accountable for mining in the Southern Coalfield, which is in Sydney's most productive water supply catchments. Evidence released yesterday from the Southern Coalfield Inquiry reveals that Government agencies are reluctant to impose stronger mining regulation to protect these catchments,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 10 July 2007
“The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) Action Plan released today outlines how the tourist industry plans to exploit national parks, despite its stated concern for climate change,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The TTF Action Plan is a comprehensive strategy for the tourist industry to re-write park management for its own benefit,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 22 June 2007
“The recently released fifth plan of management for Kakadu National Park has removed a protection zone from a 475,000 hectare wilderness over Kakadu's ‘Stone Country'”, said Mr Keith Muir, Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The new plan of management removes all the previous zoning controls, including those over the park's extensive wilderness area. The plan provides no explanation for these changes,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 8 June 2007
Combined Media Release  Following final approval being granted yesterday for the controversial Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort near Lithgow, environment groups cautiously praised final conditions placed on the development and undertakings made by the Emirates.
Posted: 28 May 2007
“The Colong Foundation for Wilderness congratulates the Iemma Government rejection of $20 million detailed study of the Bells Line Superhighway. Two expert studies have already determined that this proposal is very environmentally damaging and totally uneconomic # . The amount of money proposed certainly would have taken the road scheme to the development application stage, which would have been very worrying,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 27 May 2007
Following final approval being granted yesterday for the controversial Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort near Lithgow, environment groups cautiously praised final conditions placed on the development and undertakings made by the Emirates.
Posted: 14 May 2007
“Former Environment Minister and Federal candidate for Macquarie Bob Debus should not criticise environment groups for defending national parks (Lithgow Merc 8-5-07). T he Colong Foundation for Wilderness and the National Parks Association of NSW oppose the precedent of the Emirates resort development in a Blue Mountains' World Heritage listed national park. If built, it will be the first Australian resort to be moved into a national park after its initial approval.
Posted: 24 April 2007
“By the end of this week citizens of NSW will see either a greener government with natural resources regulation retained by the Environment Minister Phil Koperberg or a reversal of Premier Iemma's original departmental arrangements in favour of Resources Minister, Ian Macdonald,” said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. While Premier Iemma has been away, resource interests have been manoeuvring for a return of resource regulation to the Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald MP,” said Mr Muir.
Posted: 23 April 2007
“Frank Sartor is doing a poor job by approving the Emirates’ resort without first requiring the developer to produce a document showing its location in the World Heritage listed Wollemi National Park,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The general public does not know that the resort was proposed within the national park,” Mr Muir said. “If the Wolgan Valley resort is built, it will be the first resort in a Blue Mountains National Park,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 21 March 2007
The responses to an environment group questionnaire reveal that the NSW Labor remains committed to wilderness protection, while the Liberal and National Parties are no longer interested in the issue. “Labor's responses to our questionnaire outline an on-going commitment to further protection for our remaining large, intact natural areas (wilderness). The Coalition, on the other hand, didn't bother to reply,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 20 March 2007
“Centennial Coal is sucking the lifeblood out of Newnes Plateau. Everyday 37,250,000 litres are pumped from the Clarence, Angus Place and Springvale mines that operate under the Plateau # . Over then next few years I predict that the Nationally Endangered Shrub Swamps on the Plateau will die back due to loss of groundwater,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 19 March 2007
Morris Iemma and Peter Debnam's environment policies have been analysed by environment groups before the state election this weekend and both have lacked the vision and leadership required to confront major issues like climate change and water shortages. The Greens and Democrats scored strongly, while the major parties' showing was very poor.
Posted: 15 March 2007
“ All major political parties support an expanded Gardens of Stone Reserve in the western Blue Mountains, giving a significant boost to the push toward protecting this outstanding natural area. This support is great news for the people of the Blue Mountains and Lithgow regions who will benefit from enhanced tourism and recreation,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 14 March 2007
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness welcomes the Coalition Parties new plans for environment protection. “Today’s new announcements of further funding of wildlife linkages, pest species control in national parks, residential smart metres to reduce energy use, a solar power station for Outback NSW, and the encouragement of LPG and hybrid vehicles are all good news. But as the funding comes from the sale of the NSW Waste Service, a government asset, this enhanced support for the environment will not be on-going,” said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 9 March 2007
There is no doubt that nature conservation is the Iemma Government's strongest suit. The Government has moved forward on broad agenda, which would surely become significantly narrowed if the Coalition Parties under Peter Debnam were to gain office on March 24 th . That said, the hard issues, like fixing the planning laws to give certainty for threatened species, outlining future plans for wilderness protection and further winding back of carbon emissions did not feature in Mr Iemma's environmental announcements today,” said Mr Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 8 March 2007
“Both the Labor Government and Coalition Parties have proposed an inquiry to address the impacts of coal mining in our water supply catchments. This is despite the fact that these damaging mining operations were approved by previous Planning Inquiries,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. The last major inquiry into coal mining legitimised very serious damage to our water supply catchments and set the current environmental standards for mining in these areas under subsidence management plans,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 7 March 2007
The first longwall panel at BHP Billiton’s Appin 3 mine started in October last year but has already cracked the bed of the Upper Cataract River. The river carries an average 7% of Sydney’s water supply. The river from the Cataract Dam to the Broughton’s Pass Weir operates as an open canal conducting water from the dam on its way to the Prospect water treatment plant.
Posted: 19 February 2007
Last week Opposition Leader, Peter Debnam announced the Coalition’s support for priority construction of the Bell Line superhighway proposal. This announcement greatly increases the risk that this damaging and expensive proposal could be built. “Labor should now show leadership and commonsense by rejecting the Bells superhighway proposal. Its finger pointing at unfunded promises is just quibbling on the sideline,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 12 February 2007
Both Planning Minister, Frank Sartor, and Federal Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, have allowed the Emirates to promote and exhibit their 6-star Wolgan Valley resort proposal without explaining that it is now located in the World Heritage listed Wollemi National Park.

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